Paul Child was born on January 15th, 1902, in Montclair, New Jersey. When he and his twin brother, Charlie, weren't even a year old, his father died. His mother, Bertha Cushing Child (who was a vegetarian), packed up the twins and their sister, Meeda, and moved back to her hometown of Boston. She earned enough money to keep the family together; Bertha was a singer (a contralto, to be exact) and she performed withe the Handel and Haydn Society and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. All her children took music lessons; Charlie and Paul both on the cello and violin, their sister the piano. Music was the first of many careers. Having completed high school, he learned to cut and glaze stained glass. In Hollywood he was a waiter, in Italy a tutor for an American family, in Paris a woodcarver (he also learned to speak perfect French), and in New England a private-school teacher. He was also very interested in Photography, painting, gardening, poetry, and judo, which he had a black belt in.
Julia came to love Paul fairly quickly; one reason was that she'd already fallen in love with her new life at the OSS, and Paul represented everything about it she valued. He was sophisticated, talented, well-traveled, and loved food. It would take eighteen months for Paul to love Julia as well.